Emergency services are vital. They can provide people with immediate medical care in emergency situations. However, a trip to the emergency room might not always be the best option. When you need prompt medical assistance but you aren't experiencing a life-threatening condition, an urgent care clinic may better suit your needs. Urgent care clinics treat patients on a walk-in basis. Here are four reasons to go to an urgent care clinic:
1. You think you have broken a bone.
Accidents sometimes happen. You may get hurt falling off your bike or simply going about your everyday business. Unfortunately, accidents can sometimes result in serious injuries. If you think you may have broken a bone, you should go to an urgent care clinic immediately. At an urgent care clinic, a doctor will assess your injury. If necessary, they will have you x-rayed to check for internal injuries. Broken bones can be splinted or put in a cast to encourage proper healing.
2. You believe you need stitches.
Many small cuts and scrapes can be treated without a trip to the doctor's office. However, large or deep cuts may require stitches. If you receive a cut that is particularly large or deep, or if your cut won't stop bleeding, you should go to an urgent care clinic. A doctor can clean and sterilize your wound and apply stitches. They can also give you a tetanus booster shot, if necessary.
3. You think you might be infected with COVID-19.
COVID-19 has become a global pandemic. It's important to take proper precautions to avoid becoming ill, like washing your hands and wearing a mask. However, these precautions aren't foolproof. The symptoms of COVID-19 include shortness of breath, a sore throat, and fever. If you have these symptoms and think you might have the coronavirus, you should be tested immediately. Many urgent care clinics perform COVID-19 testing. However, you should call the clinic ahead of time. Some clinics ask patients with potential coronavirus infections to follow a certain protocol when visiting the clinic.
4. You believe you have an infection.
Infections occur when bacteria proliferate in your body. Cuts can become infected, but infections can also occur in your sinuses, ears, urinary tract, and other parts of your body. An infected cut may be hot and swollen to the touch. Pus is a sign of your body attempting to fight infection. If you think you have an infection, you should go to an urgent care clinic. A doctor can prescribe you antibiotics to heal your infection.